The agenda for the forthcoming SQLBits 8 conference in Brighton is currently available at http://sqlbits.com/information/Agenda.aspx. Unfortunately, useful though it quite clearly is, its only a web page and that means its hard to get the agenda data out and onto something more useful. Like your phone’s calendar.
I have tried to rectify that problem by providing all of the sessions in a subscribable calendar that can be viewed, as a web page, at http://cid-550f681dad532637.calendar.live.com/calendar/SQLBits/index.html. That calendar provides a mechanism that makes it easy to get it onto your phone; as well as publishing the data as a web page it also publishes it as an iCalendar feed (which you can think of as an RSS feed for calendar data). That iCalendar feed can be consumed in two ways:
Here’s how to view the calendar on various clients:
Hit the webcal link above from your Windows machine and (if you have it installed) it should open up in Outlook and allow you to subscribe to the calendar. Subscribing is better than importing because if I update the calendar for any reason those changes will automatically propagate into Outlook.
iPhone understands the webcal protocol too so hit the webcal link above on your iPhone and you should be subscribed to the calendar.
Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 doesn’t understand webcal and also doesn’t allow you to view calendars from anything other than the accounts registered on your phone.
Furthermore, whilst Windows Phone 7 can sync multiple accounts it can only sync the *primary* calendar from each of those accounts. Hence you will need to hit the http link above from your desktop machine, save the .ics file, then import it into the primary calendar of an account that you have synced to your phone (e.g. Hotmail Calendar, Google Calendar, Exchange, etc...). The sessions should then show up on your phone next time it syncs. Note the distinct disadvantage that importing has compared to subscribing on iPhone & in Outlook – any changes I make to the calendar will not propagate to your phone. Windows Phone changed in the 7.5 release to allow multiple calendars per account to be synced to your phone. Hence head to http://calendar.live.com, login with the same Windows Live ID that your phone is registered with, and subscribe to the webcal link above.
Android and Blackberry
I don’t know the best steps for getting it onto Android or Blackberry devices so perhaps someone could let me know. I’m sure the same technique as used for Windows Phone 7 will work though.
UPDATE: Phil Nolan has replied answering the question about Android. See his comment below.
Hope this is useful.
P.S. I am a huge advocate of iCalendar and, if you’re at all interested, my thoughts on it are perfectly articulated in this article by Dilbert creator Scott Adams: Calendar as Filter.